This morning a caller to Washington Journal on C-Span crystallized for me the collective state of mind of so many administration supporters and indeed of the administration itself. The caller said it was a disgrace, for one thing, to air disagreements about the Iraqi war strategy because it strengthened our enemies and weakened our resolve. She reiterated the ongoing misconnection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks and said any misgivings by people such as the morning’s guest should be imparted to the president in private.
Of course one of the problems with such “private” discussions is that the president and his henchpeople never want to hear bad news or reconsider past, failed actions. Bring such things up and you’re “outa there” to be replaced by less competent, but loyal, operatives better able to function in the administration’s rarified “fact free” environment so described by former CIA agent Michael Sheuer. And of course, the logical outcome of such restricted discussion is that the American public becomes as befuddled as our enemies. Sadly, large numbers of us are befuddled enough already due to the purposeful dissemination of false information and the unprecedented conduct of so much of the people’s business in secret.
This same caller also took issue with publicity about our recent election despite its serious problems with respect to vote tabulation, voter suppression, lost absentee and provisional ballots and numerous other irregularities. Such charges didn’t suggest to the caller that we should strengthen our electoral process but rather that we should hide or ignore its deficiencies because only our enemies profited from such disclosures.
Additional examples of how we are led into our befuddled partisan-infused state have come to light in the last few days. In one case, taxpayer dollars were used to encourage media personality Armstrong Williams to promote the president’s “No Child Left Behind” program, not just describe but promote it and get others to do the same. And in Congress, The House has just initiated legislation to insulate its members from lawsuits having to do with discrimination in the workplace. Gosh it doesn’t seem so long ago that a president wasn’t allowed to use his office as protection against answering a sexual-harassment lawsuit. Maybe the House action will not stand either, but isn’t it amazing how rapidly power brokers can move when it’s in their self interest? One can only ponder what imminent problems prompted such pre-emptive action.
How sad it is finally that so many of us are willing to stand pat with our shortcomings as a show of support for whatever a given and, specifically, this administration chooses to convey. What truly weakens our country in the end is a failure to examine fault lines and reinvigorate the principles and ideals of our rather splendid form of government when it functions in the way it was intended to function.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *